Steve Bruce responds to Freddie Woodman report as he considers Newcastle United changes

Steve Bruce has addressed the goalkeeping decision he has to make at Newcastle United.

A report earlier this week claimed that Freddie Woodman was set to be “taken out of the firing” line in the wake of last weekends 4-1 defeat to Manchester United.

A candid Woodman admitted his performance at Old Trafford had “not been good enough” in a social media post after the game.

“Tough day at the office,” said the 24-year-old. Never been one to avoid responsibility, hold my hands up, wasn’t good enough. Life of a goalkeeper. Important now to learn and react in the right way."

Karl Darlow – who was hospitalised by Covid-19 in the summer – returned to full training over the international break.

The 30-year-old has been pushing for a recall to the starting XI.

Asked if he had a decision to make ahead of tomorrow night’s home game against Leeds United, Bruce said: "Yeah, of course.

"I have to speak to the players involved. It happens every week, (and it’s) arguably the hardest part of management. I’ve got 20-odd players, and I can only pick 11. Usually, 11 or 12 are disappointed. That’s my job to make them (decisions), and I will do.”

Freddie Woodman.

Bruce dropped Darlow last season after the goalkeeper made an error at Old Trafford.

Darlow had been reportedly unhappy to read about the decision in the media before being informed of Martin Dubravka’s recall, and Bruce, at the time, insisted that he hadn’t leaked news of the change.

And Bruce says Woodman – who spent two years on loan at Championship club Swansea City – will be the first to know if there is to be a goalkeeping change for the Leeds game.

“I haven’t yet made any decision on any position, as we speak now,” said Bruce, who will be without Dubravka, sidelined following summer foot surgery, until later this year.

“I always, before it gets into the media, will make sure the players know, that’s for sure. I haven’t seen anything in the press on Tuesday (about Woodman being dropped). I haven’t made that decision yet, as we speak.”

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